The Brazilian flyweight took on Kai Kara-France on the preliminary portion of UFC’s pay-per-view event this past Saturday in Las Vegas, and lost by knockout with seconds left on the clock in the opening round.
Bontorin had a good start with his grappling in the 125-pound matchup, but was dropped face-first by Kara-France’s right hand. The New Zealand-native walked off, but then returned shortly after due to some confusion with the referee’s stoppage. He did not land the additional strike.
In a statement posted on social media, Bontorin called Dean the real winner.
“The last fight that took place at UFC 259, did not happen the way I trained and planned,” Bontorin wrote. “I made mistakes, yes. The errors will be worked on. However, the error of the referee is seen, I really fell in a knockdown but I was conscious 100% of the time, when I went in search of continuing the fight I was prevented by a person who was not my opponent entering the front.
“It was less than 10 seconds to end the round, I could take it and whoever knows me, you know. I would return to the second round with the same strategy that I entered and it was being very well executed. I’ll come back much better. I’d like to congratulate referee Herb Dean for the victory. And, to colleague Kai Kara-France, I don’t think I owe an apology. I want a rematch. Now, I go in search of my best. I’ll be back soon.”
Watch the finishing sequence below.